May 26-rats tails and other “ugly” stuff

In addition to Oron Catts and Stuart Bunt, a number of artists who had spent some time at the lab were present among the presenters as well as among the audience. their artworks often succeed in stirring debates, in raising awareness and in revealing often-unpleasant details  that lie behind scientifically advanced products .

Montreal based Shawn Bailey and Jennifer Willet, who intervened during the panel on thursday and were SymbioticA fellows  in 2004, have now founded their own project in Montreal: Bioteknica.
their work, consisting in public autopsies of lab manufactured “entities” or display of  teratomata (a particularly ugly-looking tumor) is presented as the corporate product of a biotech firm. The goal: to stir debate. here is their website

Australian Independent artist Boo Chapple , who also worked  at SymbioticA illustrated her ongoing project which focuses on  how the industry and the media omit the derivation of –often ugly, or smelly– raw materials used to build cosmetics.

Interested how popular culture constructs the body, her work  reveals how, for example, advertisements and the cosmetics industry hides and purifies the materials used to make them. for instance, her investigation on collagen has revealed that the material used to make it derives from rats tails, while e.coli, one of the most common bacteria living in our colon can be used to make lipstick.
the result is a series of works that thoroughly analyze the history of  a commodity and  that contaminate and destroy the aura of purity and femininity created by the industry.
see for instance these two works: